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As part of the DCU Executive MBA (EMBA) personal and career development theme, a programme of activities was designed by the Programme Director to develop EMBA participants self-awareness, leadership competencies and career development competencies.

These activities include partaking in an assessment centre, coaching clinics with professional coaches, CV and Interview workshops. This culminates in a career and personal development day, which was organised and run by DCU Career Service in collaboration with DCU Business School and DCU Alumni Office. The result was a packed day consisting of 1:1 coaching sessions, mock panel interviewers, assessment centre feedback sessions, CV clinics and a keynote inspirational speaker.

DCU Career Service through Yvonne McLoughlin organised top calibre professionals to deliver each activity. Professional coaches provided excellent career or personal development advice to EMBA participants. DCU Alumni working in top calibre organisations in HR Director or recruitment or consultancy roles put our EMBA’s through their paces in challenging mock panel interviews and provided immediate feedback on their performance. HR and management professionals ran CV clinics to provide personalised advice on CV’s.

Our EMBA’s described the line-up of activities and the feedback obtained as ‘one of the highlights’ of their MBA journey thus far. The participants were very impressed with the extent of personalised feedback they received. They were grateful for the opportunity to be challenged by top professionals in a no-consequences context. This event is testament to the value to be obtained from collaboration between a Business School, Career Services and Alumni where each unit delivers on what it is best at.

The DCU Executive MBA programme is the capstone programme in the Business School and attracts a diversity of participants in terms of demographics, industry and professional expertise- participants must have at least a 2.1 degree and a minimum of 3 years management level experience. This calibre of EMBA participant and their organisations make a large commitment to completing an EMBA and they expect a professional offering of the highest international standard. The DCU Career Service delivered such an event this year as judged by our customers – the DCU Executive MBA’s.

“A timely and wonderful event that provides the skills to go out and progress your career. Professionally organised with highly talented interviewers and coaches, it has been a very positive experience and one that will help me secure the next phase of my career”.

“The day offered an opportunity to test yourself on not only your skill set for interviewing, but also in personal development. The CV clinic provided some real nuggets that may just prove the difference in getting selected for that next big interview”.

(Pictured: MBA2 class with Paralympic athlete, gold and silver medal winner Dave Malone)

Learn more about the DCU Executive MBA programme

This blog reports on the recently estimated 2015 average alcohol consumption in Ireland and the measurement methodology involved. The estimation was done by the author on behalf of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland. The data used are from the CSO Population and Migration Estimates for April 2015 (published in August 2015) and the Revenue Commissioners’ alcohol clearances data (clearances are beverages released into the market) (the 2015 figures were made available on March 5th 2016). The levels and trends in average alcohol consumption are important elements in public policy evaluation and design and robust estimates of the indicator are desirable.

Estimation Methodology

The measurement approach follows standard international practice and also the practice of previous Irish estimates by Foley (2015). The aggregate alcohol content of the different alcoholic beverages is identified. Revenue publishes alcohol equivalents for beer and spirits but cider and wine are published as quantity of beverage. The estimate is based on 5% alcohol by volume for cider and 12.5% alcohol content for wine and the actual alcohol estimates provided in the clearances data by Revenue are used for spirits and beer. Some international and national estimates use lower alcohol contents for wine and cider. The international and traditional convention of defining the adult population as 15 years and over is used, although this is, of course, an inaccurate measure of the adult population. The population data refer to April of each year. Consumption is equated with clearances as is normally done, although clearances are not an exact measure of consumption due to factors such as unrecorded out of state sourcing, stock changes and the effects of outward and inward tourism. These and other limitations of the alcohol consumption measurement methodology are discussed in Foley (2015).

Average alcohol consumption per adult 2014 and 2015

The data are presented in Table 1. The aggregate alcohol clearances and the “adult” populations are presented. These two are combined to provide the average per adult consumption. 

Table 1.  Average per adult alcohol consumption 2014 and 2015

2014

2015

% change 2014/2015

Litres of pure alcohol (LPA), Total consumption39,838,51039,711,197-0.3
Population aged 15 and over, millions3.59373.6060+0.3
Litres of pure alcohol per adult (LPA)11.08611.013-0.7
Beer (LPA)18,820,08118,538,561-1.5
Cider (LPA)3,120,5392,905,029-6.9
Spirits (LPA)7,217,9977,357,644+1.9
Wine (LPA)10,679,89310,909,963+2.2

Sources.  CSO Population and Migration Estimates August 2015, Revenue Commissioners’ Clearances data March 2015.

Total alcohol consumption as measured by clearances decreased slightly by 0.3% in 2015. The number of adults increased slightly by 0.3%.  Average per adult alcohol consumption decreased in 2015. It was 11.086 litres of pure alcohol (lpa) in 2014 compared with 11.013 lpa in 2015, a decrease of 0.7%.  Average per adult consumption is now slightly above 11 lpa. By comparison, it was at around 11 lpa in 1994 and peaked at 14.44 lpa in 2001. Since 2001 the average per adult alcohol consumption has declined by 23.7%.

It is useful to translate the litres of pure alcohol into more understandable indicators.

The 2015 11.01 lpa is equivalent to 8.7 pints of beer per week at 4.3% alcohol strength or 2.26 750 ml bottles of wine per week at 12.5% alcohol strength.

These consumption figures are averages. There is a distribution around the average. Some do not drink, some drink a lot and some drink a little. There are different estimates of the rate of abstinence but about 20% of adults do not consume alcohol. The average consumption for the drinking population is therefore about 13.766 lpa and in this group some consume above and some below this average.

In the 15 annual changes between the peak average consumption year of 2001 and 2015 there were 11 decreases and four increases.

The pattern of annual average per adult consumption of alcohol over the most recent five years is shown below:

 YearLpa
201511.013
201411.086
201310.730
201211.614
201111.692

Beer and cider volumes decreased in 2015. Spirits and wine both increased. Beer accounted for 47% of alcohol in 2015, cider 7%, spirits 19% and wine 27%. In 2001 wine’s share was only 14% and beer was 55%.

International Context

It is useful to place the Irish consumption level in an international context. The latest OECD Health Statistics for 2015 reports an OECD average alcohol consumption (for 2013 or latest year available) of 8.8 lpa, Ireland in this database is measured as 10.6 lpa for 2013 ( Foley  estimates the Irish 2013 level to be 10.7 lpa) .

The OECD average has been identified as a policy target for Ireland. However, this is not necessarily appropriate as an exact target. The OECD database includes far distant and culturally specific countries such as Turkey and Israel with very low alcohol consumption of 2.6 lpa and 1.4 lpa respectively and several other countries with “lowish” consumption such as Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico and USA. The non EU countries in the database have an average consumption of 7.1 lpa. The 21 EU members included in the OECD database have an average consumption of 9.9 lpa compared to the 10.6 recorded in the database for Ireland. Ireland is not widely out of line with this. These figures exclude unrecorded consumption which can be relatively high in some countries, such as, for example, Portugal.

Ireland is ranked ninth highest in the OECD database with all eight higher countries being from the EU. This ranking contrasts with 2001, which was Ireland’s peak consumption level, when Ireland was the highest alcohol consuming country in the OECD. If we use the 2015 estimate of 11.01 lpa instead of the estimate in the OECD database Ireland would be fifth highest.

The eight EU countries, of those in the OECD database, with higher alcohol consumption than Ireland (figures relate to 2013 or latest available year) were:

  • Austria 12.2 lpa
  • Czech Republic 11.5 lpa
  • Estonia 11.8 lpa
  • France 11.1 lpa
  • Germany 10.9 lpa
  • Hungary 11.1 lpa
  • Luxembourg 11.0 lpa
  • Poland 10.8 lpa

Average per adult alcohol consumption decreased by 0.7% in 2015 compared with 2014; from 11.086 lpa to 11.013 lpa. Total consumption decreased by 0.3% in 2015 and there were was an increase in the adult population of 0.3%.  Beer volume decreased by 1.5%. Cider volume decreased by 6.9%. Spirits volume increased by 1.9%. Wine volume increased by 2.2%. Since its peak in 2001 the average per adult alcohol consumption has declined by 23.7%.

Beer accounted for 47% of alcohol consumed in 2015, cider 7%, spirits 19% and wine 27%. In 2001 wine’s share was only 14% while beer was 55%.

 The 2015 11.01 lpa is equivalent to 8.7 pints of beer per week at 4.3% alcohol strength or 2.26 750 ml bottles of wine per week at 12.5% alcohol strength.

In 2001 Ireland was the highest alcohol consuming country in the OECD. Now, using OECD database figures it is ninth highest or, based on the latest 2015 Irish figures and the “older” OECD other country database figures, Ireland is fifth highest.

Anthony Foley is Senior Lecturer in Economics in DCU Business School, and lectures on the Executive MBA Programme.

References

  • Foley Anthony. Estimates of Alcohol Consumption Per Adult 2014. Drinks Industry Group of Ireland. 2015
  • Foley Anthony. Alcohol Consumption: Measurement and Data Issues; and Performance. Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship Research Seminar Series. DCU Business School. November 2015
  • Population and Migration Estimates April 2015. Central Statistics Office. August 2015
  • Revenue Commissioners. Alcohol Clearances (available from Revenue Commissioners)

 

The streets of San Francisco were immortalized in that famous car chase scene from the movie Bullitt starring the legendary Steve McQueen, but on our visit to the Golden state, a trip that forms a significant learning element to the Executive MBA programme, it is the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley who are now leading the chase towards the next big phenomena.

In our wildest dreams we couldn’t have envisaged the inspiration this 5 day enterprise engagement would deliver, where the concentration of innovation is probably best defined on the walls of Johnson & Johnson as being found ‘where people, ideas and technology intersect’ and is the most glaring reason why ‘The Valley” produces so many success stories.

dcu mba international trip 4

The CEO of RocketSpace Duncan Logan further captured the essence of this technological epicenter when discussing how we are products of our own environment when he remarked, ‘if you want oranges go to Florida, if you want Tech come to San Fran’.

The week allowed unparalleled access across the full spectrum of organisations that make-up the entire ecosystem of entrepreneurship. From small-scale seed-stage venture capitalists to the premier bank in Silicon Valley and through start-up firms at various stages of their evolution to the much sought after ‘Unicorn’, we were offered a glimpse of the immense hold Silicon Valley has on inspirational thinking.

Although at times the scale and numbers presented reached telephone book proportions, as we drilled past the financial gains we touched on some key themes across the week, none more so than the importance of both culture and trust in building and sustaining a competitive business advantage.

Dr. Burton Lee of Stanford University laid the foundation for these recurring themes, where his overarching message was on how, regardless of product or concepts, ‘culture beats and eats strategy for breakfast’. Furthermore he contended that the significance of a thriving corporate culture remains key to keeping and attracting talent but also to achieving strategic objectives.

Trust is generally viewed as an essential ingredient for successful relationships, and this theme reverberated through the vast majority of our hosts. Rob Lamb, head of ‘customer evangelism’ with SalesForce stated that their number one value is trust. Similarly, Matt Prince, CEO of CloudFlare, detailed his three concerns as 1) losing the trust of customers, 2) losing trust of society and 3) losing internal trust of the team.

dcu mba international trip 3

Additionally, Kiva’s business model is built entirely on two-way trust between the lender and the borrower, with a 98.4% repayment rate reflecting the success of this trust relationship. Bernard Moon, co-founder of SparkLabs, probably best captured the core nature of trust when he pointed out that in its absence ‘one third of start-ups fail’.

Out of these trusting and vibrant cultures we got a real sense for the importance of community in the Valley and how it is frequently the catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurial endeavors.  Our visit to ‘The Vault’, a communal incubation centre which purposefully collects emerging entrepreneurs under one roof, further embraced Logan’s view of the critical nature of surrounding yourself with the right people as it provides the ability to create  ‘operational excellence’ something he refers to as the key differentiator. This critical aspect of a thriving network is what creates the platform for business’ to grow; although in conjunction with this a clear vision or strategy has to be the spearhead.

dcu mba international trip 6

Somewhat unsure that his mobile e-commerce app for selling women’s clothes would be a success, Manish Chandra of PoshMark’s strategy is now styled on fashion domination when he said that he “wants every woman’s closet on Poshmark.” Not only has the concept inspired the online fashion industry, it has brought US communities closer and closer together, and touches off the concept of social ecosystems, where their business platform, similar to that of Survey Monkey’s, fosters customer empowerment.

Despite witnessing at first hand some quiet staggering success stories, Andy Tsao of Silicon Valley bank hinted that all may not be well and that the air may be beginning to escape from an over inflated balloon. Having a lean business model and an agile team might just be the best way to survive the risk of becoming what Tsao described as a ‘Unicorpse’, although on the back of our leisure day to Napa Valley and Domaine Carneros we hope any pain served up is of the champagne variety.

dcu mba international trip 5

Although storm clouds maybe looming large on the horizon our whistle stop tour is testament that the ‘Valley’ is a truly inspirational place where Daria Lamb from the Institute of the future remarked “the impossible is becoming inevitable”.  I guess like the saying goes ‘if you can dream it you can achieve it’ encapsulates the sentiment echoed by Tsao, who said about his surrounding environment, that they can “make next happen now”.

This post was kindly written by Audrey Byrne, Coman Goggins, Karl Kohler, and Caroline Murphy, all current DCU Executive MBA2 participants. 

For more about the DCU Executive MBA Programme visit the course page, or register to attend one of our upcoming taster events.

On Thursday 3rd March 2016, Sharon Walsh, Marketing Director at Heineken joined us for an Executive Speaker Seminar with our MBA1 and MBA2 classes.

Sharon has over 15 years marketing experience during which time she has held senior marketing positions at Coca-Cola (Head of Marketing Sparkling Portfolio and Head of Media), Gilbey’s of Ireland and Diageo Ireland (Brand & Marketing Manager, Smirnoff & Baileys). Since joining Heineken Ireland in 2012 as Marketing Director, Sharon has been responsible for the marketing of Heineken Ireland’s portfolio of brands including the Heineken brand itself, Coors Light, Tiger beer, Desperado, Murphy’s Irish Stout and Paulaner.

Sharon is a DCU alumni and graduated with a Masters in Strategic International Marketing. She has has delivered some of Ireland’s best known marketing communications campaigns and won a number of awards in the All Ireland Marketing Awards programme. Her professional standing and achievements were recognised recently by the Marketing Institute of Ireland where she was awarded fellowship status. Sharon’s presentation to the MBA group covered her most recent campaign, the launch of Orchard Thieves cider.

If you are interested in undertaking an Executive MBA at DCU, join us for our upcoming Taster Evening. Details can be found here.

As we all know, Ireland’s public finances must meet specific EU and domestic fiscal rules on annual deficits, expenditure growth and debt reduction. Fiscal space refers to the projected or forecast amount of money available to the Government over a period of time for extra spending and/or tax reductions while ensuring that the overall fiscal rules are met. In the bad old days of cutbacks the relevant and opposite phrase was fiscal consolidation which meant the amount of expenditure reduction and/or tax increases needed to reduce borrowing over a particular period. The amount, probability and use of the available fiscal space were major issues in the recent general election.

In the election discussion the fiscal space refers to the five years from 2017 to 2021. Most of the projected fiscal space money occurs later in the period. Of the much quoted total figure of €8.6 billion, €5.7 billion or 66% arises in 2020 and 2021. Only €0.6 billion is in 2017 and €1.1b is in 2018. The 2019 level is €1.3 billion. We will have to wait a while for most of the fiscal space goodies. If the EU changes, as expected, our annual borrowing or deficit rule we will have another €1.5 billion which will arise in 2019.

The fiscal space money is not certain. It is not sitting in a bank waiting to be withdrawn. It depends on the achievement of solid economic and employment growth over the next five years. If the economy performs weaker than forecast there will be less fiscal space money available. The fiscal space calculation is based on an assumption of GDP growth of 3.5% in 2017 and around 3% for each of 2018 to 2021.

So, the fiscal space is a forecast amount of money and therefore uncertain; it depends on reasonable economic growth and other economic performance up to 2021. Even if the forecast turns out to be correct, the bulk of the fiscal space will arrive in 2020 and 2021 with much less in 2017 and 2018.

There are several different concepts, definitions and estimates of the fiscal space ranging from €14.2 billion to €3.2 billion which cause problems for a wide understanding of the issue.. This range gives space for much argument as was seen in the election campaign. All of the estimates are valid methodologically but are based on different interpretations, inclusions/exclusions and assumptions.

The €8.6 billion estimate is based on achieving a deficit of 0% but, as mentioned, there is a strong likelihood that we will be allowed a deficit of 0.5% by the EU, instead of 0%. This would give us another €1.5 billion of fiscal space and would arise in 2019. Therefore the fiscal space could be €8.6 billion plus €1.5 billion, or the €10.1 billion which appears, for example, in the FG election economic plan.

The original €8.6 billion was estimated by the department of finance and details are in tables A.8 and A.9 of the 2016 Economic and Fiscal Outlook. To arrive at the figure the department estimated the requirements to meet the fiscal rules between 2017 and 2021 based on our projected economic performance. It then calculated the projected actual public financial situation based on the current level of public services, salaries, social welfare payments and other expenditures and tax revenues. The difference between the two is the fiscal space or the amount of money available to use in expenditure (above the current level) and tax reductions and still be compliant with the fiscal rules.

This exercise resulted in what is called the gross fiscal space of €10.9 billion but this figure assumed that income tax bands would be adjusted in line with inflation. As such an adjustment is unlikely, there would be additional tax revenues flowing to the exchequer of €1.8 billion. Adding this to the €10.9 billion we get €12.7 billion of adjusted gross fiscal space. If we add on the €1.5 billion from the possible change in the level of the deficit the total is €14.2 billion. Excluding this reduced deficit impact we are at €12.7 billion.

But, the government could not spend all of this €12.7 (or €14.2 billion) billion on, for example, new teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers and guards or reduce taxation by €12.7 (or €14.2) billion because there are some definite or committed other expenditures over the 2017 to 2021 period. These include capital investment projects, the Lansdowne Rd pay deal and the demographic effect of more users of service through population growth and aging. There is also a plus side in that the number claiming unemployment payments will decrease. The department of finance estimates that €4.3 billion should be taken from the gross space of €12.7 billion, to cover the capital item, Lansdowne Rd and demographic influences to give the net fiscal space of €8.6 billion. You will note that the actual figure is €8.4 billion but this  deifference is due to rounding the totals.

Hence, we have our famous €8.6 billion. It includes an estimate for future demographic pressures and other known expenditure commitments. However, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council thinks that the €4.3 billion adjustment to the gross fiscal space is too low and that the €8.6 billion (or €10.1 billion if the deficit is changed to 0.5%) gives a wrong and exaggerated picture of the additional money the government will have to allocate over the next five years. The IFAC agrees with the figures up to this point and with the estimate of gross and net fiscal space (actually the IFAC estimates it to be €8.9 billion versus the €8.6 billion) but not with the implication that the money is available for new measures. The IFAC wants to identify the cost of providing the current level of services over the five year period including higher cost from inflation, likely increased salaries after Lansdowne Rd for 2019 to 2021 and increased social welfare payments. In addition, the IFAC believes the demographic adjustment done by the Department of Finance is too low.

Starting from the department of finance’s €8.6 billion net fiscal space which already incorporates a demographic adjustment, the IFAC suggests that another €1.5 billion should be allocated to cope with demographic pressure. The IFAC estimates that the cost of providing the present level of services and expenditure will increase by €4.2 billion between 2017 and 2021 through pay and social welfare increases and price inflation. Consequently, the IFAC estimates that the €8.6 billion (or €8.9 billion as IFAC estimates) should be further reduced by €1.5 billion and €4.2 billion to give an available level of resources of €3.2 billion. When the likely future cost of current services, salaries and social welfare payments are taken into account, the IFAC says there is €3.2 billion instead of €8.6 billion (or €4.7 billion instead of €10.1 billion) net fiscal space remaining for new measures.

The magnitude of dealing with likely increases in wages and social payments is substantial. Keeping pace with the GDP deflator measure of inflation of 1.2% per year would add about €1.7 billion to the social payments total between 2017 and 2021.  The same increase for wages and salaries in 2019 to 2021 would add about €800 million. Indexing the cost of government purchases would add about €600 million in the 2017 to 2021 period. These three alone on the above estimates would add €3.1 billion to the future cost of the current level of services and reduce the amount of fiscal space available for new services and tax reductions, except, of course, that higher social welfare payments, which could also be defined as a new measure, are accounted for. Higher interest payments and higher capital costs would further add to the cost of the present level of expenditure and services.

Some politicians in the election campaign have pointed out that the €8.6 billion (or €10.1 billion) figure includes an allowance for demographic effects. However, as noted, the IFAC believes that the department of finance demographic adjustment is insufficient and should be increased.

The point was also made by various politicians that the IFAC approach prejudges government decisions on wage deals and social payment increases and that these should be part of how the bigger estimate of fiscal space should be used and not excluded from the fiscal space total which is available for decision-making. This is a reasonable position. The IFAC concern is that a failure to make these costs explicit gives an exaggerated impression of the available new financial resources for tax reductions and new spending measures. For example, the FF economic plan allocated €4.76 billion of the available fiscal space for current services but this includes a sum for higher social welfare payments.

The FG economic plan allocated €4.2 billion of fiscal space for current services and notes (page 9) that this allocation includes…”provisions for sensible pay increases,….targeted welfare improvements and for other pressures (over and above a provision for addressing demographic costs)” (presumably the department of finance demographic provision). It was also argued that indexing the cost of goods and services to inflation is not appropriate because more effective procurement would reduce costs.

The IFAC figure of €3.2 billion is not directly comparable to the FG and FF figures of €8.6 billion because the FG and FF figures expect the social welfare increases to come from their €8.6 billion figures  while the IFAC has already excluded this from the fiscal space. However, neither FF nor FG included a provision for additional demographic costs compared to the department of finance’s estimate.

However, it must be remembered that there are no fiscal space monies available now. It depends on future economic growth and will be quite limited in the early years of the new government. In addition, the large amounts which are being mentioned relate to a five year period.

Anthony Foley is Senior Lecturer in Economics in DCU Business School, and lectures on the Executive MBA Programme.

If you’re interested in undertaking a part-time Executive MBA, we’re holding an open evening on March 31st 2016. Details here.

Down footballer Kalum King and former Dublin footballer Ross McConnell are the latest players to be awarded scholarships for the prestigious DCU Business School Executive MBA.

They follow in the footsteps of recent recipients of DCU Business School/GPA MBA scholarships, Fermanagh’s Chris Breen, Leitrim’s Rob Lowe, Westmeath’s David O’Shaughnessy and Dublin duo Coman Goggins and Barry Cahill.

Five county players in total have been awarded scholarships on this year’s DCU Business School Masters Scholarship Programme including Meath’s Niamh Lister who is the first WGPA recipient of a scholarship jointly funded by DCU Business School and DCU GAA Academy. Niamh will undertake an MSc in Business Management.

The five players being awarded scholarships will bring to 22 the total of GAA county players who have benefited from the scholarship programme over the last five years. Other notable graduates to date include Roscommon’s Tadhg Lowe, Leitrim’s Donal Wrynn, Kilkenny star Richie Hogan, Dublin’s Denis Bastick and former footballers Jason Sherlock and Justin McNulty.

As well as the two MBA Scholarships, two other county players, Dublin hurler Danny Sutcliffe and Monaghan footballer Shane Carey have been awarded Master’s scholarships to undertake MSc in Finance and MSc in Strategic Management respectively.

Speaking about the announcement, GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell said: “I’d like to congratulate all the players who have now commenced their various Masters Programmes in DCU Business School this year. I would particularly like to congratulate Niamh Lister on becoming the first WGPA recipient of a DCU Business School/DCU GAA Academy Scholarship.  These scholarships provide life-changing opportunities for the players, helping them in their personal development and to broaden their career opportunities. It is increasingly satisfying to consider that we are now celebrating the sixth intake under the joint scholarship scheme. I would like to wish all the scholars the very best of luck with their studies over the next 12 to 24 months.”

The Dean of DCU Business School, Anne Sinnott commented: “Our Scholarship Programme for GAA players began in 2010 in partnership with the Gaelic Players Association.  We are pleased that our relationship with the GPA will continue for the academic year 2015/2016.  This year we are delighted to announce that we have also partnered with the Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) and for the first time will offer a scholarship to a Ladies Senior inter-county player.”

Chairperson of the WGPA, Aoife Lane added: “We are delighted to be associated with DCU, and particularly the Business School, who have so generously offered a postgraduate scholarship opportunity for WGPA members in collaboration with the DCU GAA Academy.  We are very grateful to DCU who have been so welcoming and supportive of our new organisation, which reflects their commitment to male and female Gaelic games in the University.  We look forward to working with the college into 2016 and beyond.”

DCU Business School’s mission is to educate leaders and professionals for the global marketplace. Through its teaching, its research and its engagement with industry, it proactively contributes to the development of individuals, industry and society.

DCU Business School is recognised nationally and internationally for the outstanding quality of its business education programmes.  Its teaching, learning and research activities are strongly influenced by the core guiding principles of relevance and excellence. Its programme portfolio is continually updated and expanded, and recent years have seen the introduction of a number of highly innovative programmes at Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate levels.

Applications for our full-time and part-time Master’s Programmes are now open for our September 2016 intake.

As the business world continues to recover from the ravages of the recent recession, many experts now warn that we are far from returning to a business-as-usual scenario. Whether it is Rita Gunther McGrath of Columbia Business School telling us that we have entered a new “transient advantage” era, Joseph Badaracco of Harvard calling it a new “Schumpeterian” recombinant economy or Scott Anthony of Innosight (Clayton Christensen’s consultancy arm) terming it the “great disruption,” few expect the old assumptions and formulas that brought success in the past to continue to be effective in the coming decades.

Richard Dobbs, James Manyika and Jonathan Woetzel of McKinsey have just published a new book called No Ordinary Disruption (New York: Public Affairs, 2015) in which they have identified “the four global forces breaking all the trends.” The four are (1) the shifting locus of economic activity and dynamism to emerging markets like China and India, and, more particularly, to about 400-500 cities within those markets, in what they call a “new age of urbanization”; (2) the acceleration in the scope, scale, and economic impact of technology, where the effects of ongoing, rapid advances in processing power and connectivity are being amplified by the big data revolution, the mobile Internet and the “proliferation of new technology-enabled business models;” (3) global demographics and the aging of the human population, where more than 60% of the world’s people already live in countries with fertility rates that have fallen below replacement rates; and (4) ever-increasing global economic interconnectedness and the  expansion in the flows of capital, people and information associated with it, where “south-south” flows between emerging markets have doubled their share of global trade over the last ten years. Taken together, these four shifts are producing “monumental change.”

To take just three examples of how rapidly and radically the world as we have known it up to recently is being transformed, in December 2014 “Cyber Monday” generated $2.65B in online shopping, but just a few weeks earlier on November 11th, China’s “Singles Day,” Alibaba recorded the world’s highest ever single day e-commerce trading total of $9.3B; earlier, in February 2014, Facebook acquired a 5-year old start-up for an amazing $19.3B, and in September 2014, the Indian Space Research Organization successfully put a spacecraft into orbit around Mars, and for a total cost of only $74M, less than it took to produce the award-winning film, Gravity.

The big implication from No Ordinary Disruption is that all CEOs and corporate strategists will have to learn to “reset” the intuitions that up to now have been guiding their perceptions about future opportunities and challenges. “We have to rethink the assumptions that drive our decisions on such crucial issues as consumption, resources, labour, capital and competition.” According to the McKinsey authors, the era we have already entered is full of promise, but also more volatile and “deeply unsettling,” and for business leaders, the intellectual integrity to be willing and able to see the world as it really is, and the humility and persistence to keep learning, have never been more needed. The recent past is no longer a reliable guide to even the next 5 to 10 years, and imagination, not just experience, is now at a premium.

Professor Brian Leavy is a Professor of Strategic Management at DCU Business School and teaches strategy on the Executive MBA programme. Prior to his academic career, he spent eight years as a manufacturing engineer with Digital Equipment Corporation, now part of Hewlett Packard. Brian’s teaching and research interests centre on strategic leadership, competitive analysis and strategy innovation, and he has published over 80 articles, chapters and book reviews on these topics, nationally and internationally. 

To learn more about the Executive MBA click here

To attend our upcoming taster evening click here

DCU Business School will be hosting an Information Evening about the new part-time executive Masters in Aviation Leadership on the 25th June 2015 at 6.00pm. If you are interested in learning more about the programme, you can register here.

About the Programme:

The MSc in Management (Aviation Leadership) is the first programme of its kind in Ireland. Commencing in September 2015, it will be a two year part-time executive masters with elements of the programme delivered both in Dublin Airport, in its capacity as a live laboratory, and in Castlemoate House, daa International’s academy facility, adjacent to Dublin Airport.

Subject Areas:

  • Aviation Leadership
  • Aviation Governance
  • Aerodrome Operations Management
  • Leadership and Change
  • Delivering Performance Excellence [Operational, People and Financial Performance]
  • Strategy, Organization and Innovation
  • Research Methods
  • Aviation Industry based research project

Aims and Objectives:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the management complexity required to operate the various compnents of Airport Operations
  • Identify the important leadership and management competencies required to plan and execute future aviation industry strategies
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics, requirements and legal responsibilties of aviation organisations
  • Identify the concepts and skills necessary for conducting business analysis and strategic thinking
  • Develop the ability to lead and initiate professional and/or research activity independently or as part of an aviation management team;
  • Enhance your opportunities to take a leading role in the future development of the aviation industry

Details of the Open Evening:

When: 25th June at 6.00pm

Where: 3rd Floor of DCU Business School, DCU, Collins Avenue, Dublin 9 [Map here]

Register online here

Why attend?

  • Learn first hand about the programme and how it will help to advance your career
  • Speak to members of faculty directly, who can answer any questions you may have
  • Network with members of the aviation industry

Informal Enquiries:

Informal enquiries about the programme can be made via email to pj.byrne@dcu.ie

Register:

You can register to attend online here.

Recent research conducted at MIT and Harvard University found that organisations with successful digital strategies were 26% more profitable than their industry competitors and generated 9% higher revenue from their employees and physical assets’ (Westermann et al, 2014).  In an age of disruptive technologies, constant global and organizational change, and the fast-paced erosion of competitive advantage, the implementation of a successful digital strategy promises enormous returns on investment for management.  McKinsey estimates that digital technologies have the potential to unlock between $900 billion-$1.3 trillion in value for work organizations (Bughin et al, 2012).

Digital strategies refer to the deployment of information technology (IT) systems, which combine social media tools, e.g. Facebook and Yammar, mobile computer applications, e.g. smartphones and tablets, and virtual data analytics, e.g. cloud computing, to leverage organizational value.  Successful digital strategies are allowing organisations to transform their entire customer experience, exploit greater value from organizational operations, and create new business models that reorder value chains and offer sustained competitive advantage.

Yet, despite such promises we know very little about successful digital strategy implementation, the key challenges organizations are confronted with in introducing digital technologies or the choices management must make to align customer and organizational needs with digital capabilities in order to maximize return on investment.  Considering the potential yields for ROI cited above, it is important that organizational leaders can embrace the opportunities inherent in a digital era whilst avoiding the pitfalls that can be disguised in such opportunities.

In order to answer some of these questions and further explore digital opportunities for Irish companies, last November the DCU Executive MBA programme, as part of the Enterprise Engagement module, visited digital companies in the San Francisco bay area.  Throughout the week our MBAs met with digital leaders from innovative companies such as RocketSpace, OnlyCoin, Cloudflare, and WePay and from more established technology-based companies such as Oracle, Salesforce, and Google.

dcu mba international trip

A key learning across all visits was the importance for organizations to rethink how their strategies can be leveraged to yield digital advantage.  Digital leaders need to move beyond the pursuit of a sustainable competitive advantage and recognize the transformative and ubiquitous nature of digital in restructuring organizational boundaries and hierarchies, recreating entirely new business processes, and creating a porous synergy between all organizational and societal stakeholders in order to support new value propositions and the development of a more transient approach to strategic advantage.

John Loonam is a Lecturer in Management on the Executive MBA Programme at DCU Business School.  He is currently a Special Issue Senior Editor on “Enterprise Social Systems & Organizational Change” with the Journal of Information Technology.

To download the Executive MBA brochure, fill out this quick form:

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[pullquote]“The secret of getting ahead is getting started”. (Mark Twain)[/pullquote]

Wow! It’s hard to believe that we’ve managed to find our way through semester one of year one of our Executive MBA in DCU Business School.

Three months ago the thoughts of returning to college on a part-time basis was a quite daunting prospect, not only from a work-life balance perspective, which was among the predominant concerns of my fellow MBA classmates, but from an academic point of view, where the very thoughts of “Harvard referencing” sent a shiver down my spine.

Despite the significant consideration that went into applying to commence the programme, the reality is that nothing can prepare you for that first term, when work and college commitments collide, forcing you in the early hours of a Monday evening to question the very reasons you took on the challenge.

A colleague on the course tells a story about how, when he was considering applying, everyone he spoke to including past graduates, spoke in glowing terms about the Executive MBA and recommended without hesitation that he sign-up to the class.

Once enrolled however, the tune changed, where those very same advocates of the course told him that he was beginning a process that may well prove to be the toughest two years of his life!

On both fronts, arguably his advisors got it right. For sure the last 12 weeks of lectures and assignments have tested the staying power, and the Christmas break was like the proverbial calm before the storm, as the January exam schedule loomed large on the horizon and DCU library became almost like a second home for close on three weeks.

But the flip side of these stresses and strains, and quiet clearly why any past graduate would recommend an Executive MBA, has its foundations in the relevance of the modules that we completed during our first semester.

Week on week the professionalism and depth of expert lecturing meant that the theory presented every Thursday evening was almost immediately transferable to the work place first thing Friday morning.

Working in financial services the Accounting for Decision-Making module offered the most relevance from a practical point of view, and provided me with a significant amount of detail on hot topics in business lending and financial ratios. This led to an early morning training session with one of the business teams in North Dublin.

In conjunction with this a number of the assignments were based on delving into past events or assessing current work practices and forced us, both individually and within groups, to apply our learning in the most practical sense. The Organisational Behaviour module opened my eyes to the fact that great leaders aren’t born, but are effectively a continual work in progress who strive to get the best from their people, a simple concept perhaps, but clearly one that is extremely difficult to nail down.

The satisfaction from these submissions (though the process was daunting) lies in the fact that by stretching ourselves to understand a particular event or practice we are in fact responding to what is essentially the underlying current of the Executive MBA; personal development.

So with one semester down and three to go we can approach our second semester in DCU Business School with a little less fear and perhaps a mild sense of calm!

This post was written by Coman Goggins, a first year Executive MBA participant. To download the MBA brochure, fill in your details below:

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